Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ireland stun 5th ranked England to level two Test series

The Ireland’s men’s hockey team caused a flutter when they surprised higher-ranked England 2-1 to level the two Test series 1-1. The Green Machine – ranked 15th in the world – were caught unawares by an Ashley Jackson penalty corner strike in the first half, but 5th ranked England allowed the Irish to mount a comeback as Michael Watts squared things up early in the second half, before going on to find the winner three minutes from the final hooter.

Earlier, England had won the first Test 3-2 after sewing up a 3-0 lead. Simon Mantell drew first blood for England but a deflection from an Irish defender off an Ashley Jackson penalty corner made the scoreline 2-0. Skipper Barry Middleton made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute.

Shane O’Donoghue fired home a penalty corner to reduce the deficit for Ireland. The match enlivened towards the latter stages when Michael Watts made the scoreline 2-3, but England held on to pull off a 3-2 win.

Ireland had earlier won the two Test series against Wales 2-0. The Green Machine had won the first Test 3-1 and subsequently clinched the second Test 2-0.

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